$6.6 Million in Striving Readers Grants Awarded to Help Struggling Readers

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–September 29, 2009.  Eight states will receive $6.6 million in Striving Readers grants to improve the literacy skills of struggling adolescent readers, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today. The purpose of the Striving Readers program is to raise reading achievement in Title I-eligible middle and high schools where significant numbers of students are faced with the challenges of poverty and reading below grade level.

“When students enter middle and high school with reading skills that are significantly below grade level, they are at great risk of dropping out,” said Secretary Duncan. “Programs like Striving Readers give students a chance to improve their reading skills and succeed in school and in life.”

The programs funded by the Striving Readers grants include a range of research-based adolescent literacy projects serving diverse populations. Each program includes a rigorous evaluation conducted by independent researchers. The president’s 2010 budget request would nearly double the funding for activities supported by Striving Readers to $70.4 million. In addition, the president’s budget request includes $300 million for new Early Literacy Grants to school districts to test a variety of strategies designed to improve children’s reading comprehension in the elementary grades.

Grantees may use the Striving Readers funds for activities such as interventions for middle and high school-aged students to improve basic reading skills, motivation, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension using research-based programs; for professional development aligned with scientifically based reading research; for valid and reliable reading assessments; and for the design and implementation of a rigorous evaluation.

For more information about the Striving Readers program, visit

A complete list of the grantees follows:

Name State Funding Year 1
Michigan Department of Education MI $945,052
Illinois State Board of Education IL $727,359
Washington Office of the Superintendent of Instruction WA $628,952
Virginia Department of Education VA $594,891
New York State Department of Education NY $782,461
Kentucky Department of Education KY $645,359
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction WI $1,286,966
Louisiana Department of Education LA $1,002,022